I feel as though Bernie Sanders is my child, and every day I must give him lunch money for school. “Didn’t I just give you $2.70 for lunch yesterday?” I think to myself. Of course I did — kid’s gotta eat, and he’s gonna need to eat again today. And so, I keep giving it to him.
In reality, I actually only donate $2.70 to Bernie once a week. I saw an ad somewhere asking to donate, and then got roped into automatically repeating the donation on a weekly basis. Still, nobody contacts me more frequently than Bernie Sanders does to ask for cash, and because I love him, I regularly give in to his pleas beyond my paltry weekly gift.
$2.70 is less than a large iced coffee from Dunkin’ (I know in my SOUL that Bernie does not drink Starbucks). Basically, then, I look stingy if I don’t fork it over for him.
Bernie is well aware of how his quest for donations looks. He knew what he was doing when he made that “I am once again asking for your financial support” video. But why $2.70? Why such a specific figure? Buttigieg asks for $3, as does Warren. So why has Bernie chosen such a distinct number to represent the campaign?
As it turns out, the primary reason Bernie asks for $2.70 is that his campaign knows you’ll fricken give it. More than that, though, the number is *~symbolic~*. “In 2016, Bernie’s average donation size was $27. This number became a symbol of the power of small-dollar donations,” explains Briahna Gray, the National Press Secretary for Sanders’ campaign. “Asking for $2.70 is a way to capture that spirit, while requesting an amount that is accessible to even more Americans — regardless of income level.”
By all indications, this technique has been wildly successful. Sure, maybe some people are annoyed by his pleas for your spare change, but the method is working. In January, Sanders received more than $25 million in donations by 1.8 million donors, surpassing every other Democratic candidate on both numbers. While the average donation has since decreased from $27 to $18, no doubt in part because of the $2.70 campaign, twos and sevens continue to be the figurative numbers of the campaign.
Perhaps what’s most powerful about Bernie’s push for such a small amount of cash is that it allows me to keep donating. Rather than send him $30 every once in a while, Bernie is on my brain all the time, bugging me for a few bucks. Which I’ll keep happily turning over to him.